Danish minnows Midtjylland stun Man. United
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Midtjylland 2-1 Manchester United
The English giants suffered a shock defeat at the hands of a pair of 21-year-olds, with Paul Onuachu scoring the winner 13 minutes from time.
Article top media content
- Nigerian youngster Paul Onuachu secures a famous win for Midtjylland
- The Danish minnows beat Southampton 2-1 on aggregate in the play-offs
- Pione Sisto underlines his talent with a fine opening goal
- David de Gea ruled out after injury in pre-match warm-up
- The return leg takes place at Old Trafford next week, followed by the draw on Friday
Paul Onuachu struck 13 minutes from time as Danish minnows Midtjylland stunned three-time European champions Manchester United.
There did not seem to be a shock on the cards when Memphis Depay bundled in the opener on 37 minutes but Denmark starlet Pione Sisto ensured the teams went in level at half-time. That set the stage for Onuachu, an attacking substitution who vindicated coach Jess Thorup's decision with a famous winner.
The night had begun badly for Louis van Gaal when David de Gea pulled up during the warm-up, yet few assumed that replacement Sergio Romero would have that much to do. We were wrong. Debutant Nikolay Budorov soon tested the visiting keeper with a header and it proved a sign of things to come.
Romero excelled again when he came out on top in a one-on-one with Václav Kadlec and almost immediately Depay made it 1-0 from a Jesse Lingard cross. The hosts could have folded but instead Sisto, who is attracting interest from many of Europe's top teams, elegantly dribbled past several defenders before unleashing a beautiful right-footed effort.
If the sell-out crowd were delirious on that occasion, it was nothing compared with the reaction when Onuachu fired in from distance. It was not a complete surprise – Romero had already made a world-class save to deny the Nigerian – but the result is. United will have to do it the hard way.
Sergio Romero evokes great Dane
The Argentinian might have expected a quieter evening when he was parachuted in at the last minute, but Midtjylland had other ideas. Romero excelled in his first outing since November, producing at least three outstanding stops. The pick was the one-handed effort that repelled Onuachu's header and evoked memories of Peter Schmeichel.
Onuachu stands tall
First-choice striker Martin Pušić struggled to make an impression whereas his replacement, Onuachu, had no such problem. Standing 2.01m tall helps, but the 21-year-old shone with the ball at his feet, dribbling like a Brazilian futsal player and netting that winning goal.